RISHTON councillors have spoken out against betting machines, dubbed ‘the crack cocaine of gambling’.

Hyndburn Council announced last week it would call on the government to give it powers to ban, or restrict, the machines, which allow punters to spend £100 every 20 seconds on virtual casino and racing games.

Coun Ken Moss said: “The payouts are not the issue, they are broadly the same as every other form of betting, but the amount that can be spent in such a short time on these particular machines is alarming.”

And Coun Clare Cleary added: “This is not just a monetary issue, the council’s hands are tied by gambling laws.”